Debye-Rietveld — a 100 & 50 years celebration

About the Debye-Rietveld Year

Diffraction of radiation is used to determine the atomic structure of materials. The technique developed more than 100 years ago, using single crystals, which are hard to get or to make. Exactly 100 years ago, Peter Debye overcame this limitation with the invention of powder diffraction, making sample preparation a piece of cake.

Then 50 years later, Hugo Rietveld introduced a data analysis method that enabled accurate determination of the 3D crystal structure from the obtained powder data. The two major steps forward make powder diffraction a standard tool in academia and industry today. We want to celebrate the centennial + golden jubilee with you on the 22 September 2016.

Programme Thursday 22 September 2016

Day Programme


Registration and coffee


Huub Kooijman (Shell)


Early work on neutron diffraction in Petten
Cees Andriesse (Univ. Utrecht)


Debye-Scherrer: An Accidental Invention
Jurrie Reiding




Powder diffraction in direct space: How the Pair Distribution Function can complement powder diffraction
Reinhard Neder (Univ. Erlangen)


Powder diffraction: providing one of the best views of the material world
Bill David (Univ. Oxford)


lunch, posters, exhibition


How much information can be deduced from a powder pattern: A tribute to Peter Debye and Hugo Rietveld
Robert Dinnebier (MPI Stuttgart)


Debye and Rietveld in industrial applications
Jaap Louwen (Albemarle)


Debye equation: How did it evolve?
Paolo Scardi (Univ. Trento)


Tea and posters


Neutrons And X-rays for battery materials
Marnix Wagemaker (TU Delft)


Macromolecular Powder Diffraction: Past, Present, Future
Irene Margiolaki (Univ. of Patras)

Evening Programme


Boat cruise leaving from STCA through Amsterdam canals


Dinner at restaurant along the IJ river.

Group photo of the participants


The celebration will be held in Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam (STCA), located Amsterdam Noord. Like no other international energy company, Shell invests in science and has been so kind to offer the organizers of the celebration to host the Debye-Rietveld celebration at STCA. We are very grateful to Shell for offering this opportunity! STCA is centrally located (Grasweg 31, 1031 HW Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and excellently served by public transport.


The idea for this symposium came from prof. Bill David from Oxford University who pointed out that this year, 2016, we celebrate the centenary and 50 year jubilee of two major contributions in powder diffractometry. By coincidence, both contributors were Dutch.

The core team of the Debye-Rietveld celebration

Bram Schierbeek

has been active as Application Scientist bio-crystallography with (Enraf-)Nonius, Bruker and Rigaku. After his PhD from Groningen University he trained and supported scientists all over the world with automated crystallization, crystallographic data collection, structure solution with SAD-phasing and small angle X-ray scattering. He is a member of the board of the NVK, the Dutch Society for Crystallography.

Céleste Reiss

is senior application scientist X-ray diffraction at PANalytical. She studied chemistry and crystallography at the University of Amsterdam. After joining Philips Analytical she developed together with others the first Rietveld program on a PC. Within Panalytical she worked in many areas of diffraction from HR to powder. The last years her focus is on total scattering studies.

Lambert van Eijck

is assistant professor at the Reactor Institute of the Delft University of Technology. After his PhD in solar cell and battery materials in Delft, he worked as an instrument scientist on the backscattering neutron spectrometer IN16(B) at the Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble, France. In 2010 he returned to Delft to design and build a novel neutron powder diffractometer PEARL at the Reactor Institute Delft, which is in operation since 2015.


The front page of this website shows the two scientists who will be celebrated at this event: Peter Debye and Hugo Rietveld. The banner on the other pages show the central part of a powder diffraction film (called a Debye-Scherrer film) used to record a powder diffraction pattern. Nowaday, the film is replaced by a 2D detector. The left part of the banner shows a part of the Amsterdam Canal District: You will enjoy a boat trip through this 17th-century district in the Evening Programme.

NVK and Mollie

This celebration is organized by members of the NVK, the Dutch Crystallography Society. When you buy a ticket at the registration, you will be paying to the “Nederlandse Vereniging voor Kristallografie” (NVK) and the internet-payment company Mollie takes care of the secure online payment.